Road trip, Travel

Hiking The Narrows

I’ve always had my eye on The Narrows ever since my husband and I visited Zion National Park last year. The weather was uncooperative that day and we weren’t going to risk hiking it when there’s flash flood warning signs all throughout the park. Last month, two of my friends and I hiked The Narrows for the very first time. I couldn’t contain my excitement because somehow I knew this was going to be an epic adventure. For every hike that I’ve done, I always make sure to plan ahead. This hike was no exception especially because of how unconventional this type of hike was. Hiking in waist-deep water wasn’t something you get to do or see everyday. Perusing through a couple of guides and articles online, I found out that we need to rent gear for our hike. Some advised against it saying that it was unnecessary but I didn’t want to risk it. I chose Zion Adventures  because they offer rental packages at affordable prices.   [I wrote a review for Zion adventures. Read THIS]. Aside from the gear, I also packed some lunch and snacks for us. Nothing too fancy, just something to keep us from fainting in the middle of the trail.

Hiking the narrows

We left Vegas around 6 am feeling extremely confident that we’re right on schedule. Unfortunately, we forgot that Utah and Vegas are on different time zones and we just lost one hour. 2 1/2 hours later, we finally made it to Zion and went straight to Zion Adventures for our rentals. Armed with our gear, we headed for the shuttle bus. The trailhead for The Narrows can be found in Temple of Sinawava. From here, we walked for about 1 mile till we reached the Virgin River. This is when we realized that our little time mishap had cost us some alone time with The Narrows. The trail had become very busy and too crowded for our liking. However, we noticed that the more we hiked upstream, the less crowded it became. Thank goodness! The water was cold but not freezing. It was rather pleasant given that it was hot that day. It was also murky. I wondered how many people peed in the river. My feet were warm thanks to the neoprene socks and the shoes prevented me from falling flat on my face. The walking stick was a life saver! I used it to feel for rocks before I took a step.

Hiking the narrows

Photo via Flickr by Jiashiang

It was uneventful for an hour. We were busy focusing on navigating the river and avoiding loose, slippery rocks. After we got used to it, we found ourselves happily wading through the flowing water. I felt so small next to the 1500-foot walls surrounding me. I found solace despite having all these people around me which made this experience unique and incomparable to most of the hikes I’ve done. As we approach Wall Street, I felt the canyons “narrowing” down. Wall Street is a 2-mile section of the canyon that is the true definition of The Narrows. Photos don’t do it justice. You have to see it for yourselves!

Hiking the narrows

Hiking the narrows

Photo via Flickr by Robert Shea

Hiking the narrows

After taking a bunch of pictures, it was time to head back. It started drizzling so we had mini heart attacks. We were definitely worried about the flash floods that may occur. Rivers tend to rise quickly during sudden rainstorms that occur between July-September. As we reached the trailhead, there were a bunch of people starting their hike unaware of the risks. It was already late in the afternoon and the clouds were approaching. My advice is to always be prepared by educating yourself about the trails you’re hiking.

Hiking the narrows

Photo via Flickr by Jiashiang

Hiking the narrows

Although The Narrows, Wall Street in particular, was beautiful, the journey itself made the trip memorable. I enjoyed laughing and sharing stories with my friends. Always remember, as great as the destination is, what matters most is the people you share it with. 🙂


Have you been to The Narrows? What’s your favorite part about the hike?

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  1. Carmelisse

    August 20, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Hey Janna! I loved hiking the Narrows, it’s such an incredible and unique experience. I always forget about the time difference in Utah. It’s strange because Utah and Arizona are next to each other, yet there isn’t a time difference in Arizona. Go figure. Anyways, loved the post! Looking forward to your next adventure. 🙂


    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      August 20, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      That’s awesome! I’m glad you experienced hiking the narrows as well. I know right? We always have to leave early whenever we go to Utah.

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  2. Chelsea Bancroft

    July 6, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Very cool! I visited Zion a couple years ago, and absolutely loved it!

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      August 17, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks Chelsea! Zion is amazing! You should def head back 🙂

  3. Tom

    July 9, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Love this Janna! I really want to go here one day!

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      August 17, 2016 at 2:37 pm

      Thanks so much Tom! You have to! The scenery is amazing and Zion has some of the best hikes in the US.

  4. Junah

    August 13, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Hi! I love your blog and it’s really helpful because I plan on visiting Zion early November! Around what time did you go hiking in those pictures you took? They look amazing! And how is the weather there?

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      August 17, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      Hey Junah! Thanks so much for the support! 🙂 We did the hike around August. The water was cool and the weather was really nice. Not too hot in my opinion. The weather is a bit tricky in that area. So make sure you check beforehand. It’s best to not go when there’s a chance of rain because the narrows can get flash floods even during summertime. Hope that helps!

  5. Junah

    August 13, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Oh and also how long did take for you to reach there in those photos? 🙂 thank you!

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      August 17, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      It took us about 2 1/2 hours to reach that point which is called Wall street. But it all depends on your pace. We stopped every now and then taking pictures and just enjoying the scenery. We also ate lunch on the way. So maybe 2-3 hrs max. You should try to start the hike around 7am to avoid the crowds. Have fun! 🙂

      Ps: if you’re headed there in November, dont forget to rent gear (dry pants/dry suits) so you dont get hypothermia. I believe it starts to get cold around October/November. Just to be sure!


    October 13, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    I have lived in Utah and STILL haven’t hiked the Narrows – hoping to go before it gets too cold this year. Nice photos! As a mini side note, I tried to follow you via your Social Media icons at the very top right of this page and they don’t work. Just letting a fellow blogger know, since I’ve had that happen on my site. Thanks for posting! -Alicia @

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      October 19, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      Oh you have to go Alicia! It’s very unique and fun! Thanks a bunch for letting me know. I’ll check it out and fix it. Happy travels! xx

  7. Agness of aTukTuk

    May 9, 2017 at 4:23 am

    This place is so breath-taking, Janna! I would love to hike there one day!

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      May 23, 2017 at 7:56 pm

      It really is! Hope you get to experience it for yourself too Agness. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  8. Paula

    May 25, 2017 at 11:45 am

    About how far did you have to actually hike to get to The narrows ? Im going this 6/1 but i read that virgin river is closet due to water level does this effect The narrows

  9. Jenn and Ed Coleman

    August 19, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    We were just in Zion Park about two weeks ago. We didn’t hike the Narrows, we hiked Angles Landing and did technical canyoneering. We really want to go back and experience the Narrows for ourselves. It is an amazing area that is so photogenic. Funny thing about the time zone between Utah and Arizona. Arizona is one of the few states that doesn’t observe daylight savings so it wanders +/- an hour with respect to its neighbors.

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2018 at 9:41 am

      Hey jenn and ed! I hope you guys had an amazing time in Zion. I do recommend going back and experiencing The Narrows because its one of my fave hikes ever! I actually need to go back as well and try out Angels Landing. I’ve always wanted to do it but back out last minute bec Im too scared lol.

  10. Gary

    December 9, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    I live near Zion NP and have hiked the Narrows 20+ times. If you’re really adventurous, hike in January or early February when the water trickling down from the canyon walls form amazing frozen waterfalls all along the canyon. Be sure to rent dry suits and wear double layers of neoprene socks. Truly a surreal experience. Also try to make time to take a side excursion up Orderville Canyon which is a side canyon you’ll reach just before Wall Street. I like to hike up Orderville for 20-30 minutes and then turn around. It’s also a beautiful canyon and is generally much more narrow than “The Narrows”.

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      January 9, 2018 at 9:39 am

      Hi Gary, Thank you for stopping by and sharing some tips. I’ve never hiked The Narrows in winter bec it might be too cold but from what you described, it looks like it might be worth a try. We’ll definitely check out Orderville next time we visit Zion. I really appreciate you taking the time to write some tips for me and my readers. Happy travels!

  11. Gary Leverett

    January 9, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Hey Janna, Just FYI, all the outfitters in Springdale rent winter Narrows gear that includes water shoes, two pair of neoprene socks, hiking stick, and dry suit. We were perfectly cozy when we went in early February 2013. In fact, we were cautioned by the outfitter to make sure we stayed well hydrated because you tend to sweat more in the dry suit and not realize it. Regarding Angels Landing, the view from there is indeed wonderful but the view from Scout Lookout (just shy of Angels Landing) is not THAT different. It’s also a pretty grand view without having to cross the narrow fin en route to Angels Landing. My observation has been that many (if not most) visitors hike to Angels Landing just to say they did. My advice is don’t sweat it. Even seasoned experienced hikers have fallen to their deaths there. In recent years the hoards of hikers crowding the already extremely narrow pathways have made it even more dangerous. Just sayin’.

    1. Janna C.

      Janna C.

      February 27, 2018 at 11:50 pm

      Hi Gary! Thanks for the awesome tips! Sorry for the late response. Just saw this. I didn’t know about the Scout lookout! I will definitely check it out. And yes, good point. I actually think so too. Because of Instagram, Angel’s Landing has become more and more popular. Too many people visiting and crowding the narrow pathways leading to the viewpoint. So I guess maybe it’s good to have an alternative like Scout Lookout.

  12. Allen T

    July 18, 2018 at 8:06 am

    The best way is to start at the upper end and then down. but you will need a guide because some of the loops are very long and there are little over-the-hump shortcuts. allow 8 hours.

  13. Gary

    July 18, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Hey Allen, if you’re talking about Angel’s Landing, I agree that the top down route is great but it doesn’t really require a guide. It does require careful planning though. What you’re describing is the West Rim Trail and it is a destination hike all it’s own. It is far more strenuous than the up and down hike from The Grotto shuttle stop due to the length and during the summer the temperatures soar to around 100° In Zion, so you’d want to start around sunrise and carry snacks and plenty of water. If your objective is Angel’s Landing, the bottom up route is absolutely the way to go. Be advised that parts of both routes including Angels Lnding are currently closed (as of 7/18/18) due to damage from recent storms.

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